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The Dreaded Damping Off

By March 18, 2013

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If you haven't had to deal with damping off at least once or twice in your seed starting experience, you are a very lucky gardener. If you have, then you know the feeling of helplessness of seeing your teeny, tiny seedlings keeled over onto the soil. It is not a fun gardening experience!

It's been several years since I've had problems with damping off (knock on wood). There are several things you can do to avoid the problem in the first place. Things like using sterile soil, clean containers, and avoiding overwatering are all very helpful in preventing damping off.

Another great option for preventing damping off is to make up some anti-fungal teas. Misting your seedlings, as well as the surface of the soil, with either chamomile or stinging nettle tea, is a great preventative measure.

And I can't say enough about making sure you have good airflow around your plants. Don't over crowd them in your flats or pots. And, if at all possible, keep a fan running at low speed. This not only helps with air flow, but it also helps seedlings develop strong, sturdy stems.

I hope these tips for preventing damping off help you have a successful, bountiful seed starting season!


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